Saturday, November 28, 2020

Size 16 bead needles back in stock

 In My ETSY Store

I just restocked the ETSY store with more of the tiny bead needles and also more of the black straight pins or mourning pins~ those two usually sell out as soon as I restock, so if you have been waiting go check them out! The link to the store is in the right hand sidebar 

I have bendable pins~ oh my golly they are AWESOME. If you havent seen them go check it out there is a little video on the listing~ they are made from special wire and when bent, actually spring right back to straight~ AWESOME pins!

For my dolly makers I have listed some of my ultra favorite tiny cotton laces~ yes, ALL cotton laces less than a quarter inch wide. Also a minute braided cotton cording thats just to die for~
I restocked the heirloom sewing kits which have 3 indispensable spools of silk and linen threads, 2 each needles of three different sizes and a cake of pure beeswax

If you have been mulling over the 2020 limited edition ornament kit, I have just five left. The link to purchase those is here
Happy Stitching XOXOXOX

Friday, November 20, 2020

Special Original 17th c Blackwork Nativity Spool Tray Available

 Humbly Born in a Stable Rude

It's been a very challenging year for me this year, as I am sure it has for many of ya'll as well. Sometimes the stress and just absolute heartbreak just gets to be too much for me so I try and trick myself into not thinking about it by really concentrating on other things. I had been wanting to make something special to offer for Christmas for quite a while, but just wasnt feeling it, if you know what I mean.  Earlier this year a really awesome 17th c redwork panel of Moses in the Rushes was sold at auction, and one day when I was numbly going thru my saved pictures to keep my mind occupied. I landed on that picture. At that moment, I knew what I wanted to make and spent the rest of the day drawing out a 17th c Nativity scene.

I took inspiration from  three 17th c embroideries~ there arent that many with Nativity subject matter. I know of one tent stitch piece at the V&A that is so bright and colourful, it doesnt even look like a Nativity scene until you start really investigating it. A woman is sitting by a stream above a grotto surrounded by shaded green hollocks....and then you notice there is a baby aside her...then you see the sheep and shepherds in the background and realize the man on the other side of her is Joseph, there is a stable with a donkey and cow...there is an angel...its all very subtle.  I didnt want my nativity to be subtle!

The angle is above looking down on Mary who is kneeling aside baby Jesus in his manger. Joseph is standing aside the stable with two shepherds kneeling with their sheep to the other side of Mary.  I tried to fit a donkey into the stable but he just didnt fit without making it look over detailed. Joseph's dove flies overhead and of coarse no 17th c scene would be complete without a huge mulberry tree ;)


I love painting blackwork and after sharing this with a friend, got immediate feedback to make it into a black or redwork project to ...perhaps a special for next year 

For now though, this is my one special offering for Christmas 2020. I made it from a beautiful piece of hard maple, and fit it with 21 pegs. Yes~ 21 pegs! My largest spool tray to date. As you can see above both the small and large spools fit on it nicely. It measures 8 & 1/4" x 7 & 3/8". 

Signed and dated on the bottom of coarse

This special tray is available at a cost of 650.00 including shipping~ a direct reflection of how expensive wood has become, and how many hours I have into it. If you love it and would like to purchase it you can email me at

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

2020 Limited Edition Ornament Kits

 Just 11 Left!

More gilt spangles arrived yesterday and am counting counting them today~ I feel like Rumpelstiltskin!

I have just 11 kits left, once they are gone I will not be reordering supplies to make up more kits, its too late in the year. If you are interested in making up your own gold encrusted 17th c inspired covered book, you can order one here

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Fun with Scraps

Lil Cuties

  What have ya'll been up to?  I am super lucky that my oldest daughter only lives 8 miles from me.  One day she called me and mentioned how much she missed getting to watch me make dollys. (When the children were little, I had a bed in the studio beside my work table so they could nap and play right there were I could keep an eye on them)....  So I told her to come on over and we'll make something.  We picked thru the scrap bins and a few days later, I had 3 lil mini punkin cuties. Shes not done with hers yet, but they came out just as cute as mine!
I dont know what the heck I was thinking when I sculpted this lil punkin....she is so blasted tiny~ I had a heck of a time trying to hold onto her arms while trying to stitch on her sleeves. Shes a little cone puppet
She likes to hide in her cone and then pop out and try to scare her friends.....but shes not scary. 

 This is Full Moon Party~ she is named after one of my favorite teas. What is super fun about making small things, is that tiny scraps are all you need. This size of doll doesnt take much of anything to make, just some time, imagination, and lots of laughs with your daughter ;)

Sunday, October 04, 2020

Beneath Thy Poft Oak

 Class is Full & Wait List is Open

If you would like to be put on the wait list for my next running of Beneath Thy Poft Oak, just drop me an email at

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

There is ONE spot left!

 My New Online 17th Century Beadwork Class

Starts October 1st!

I am very excited for class to start~ its going to be super fabulous! Tricia at Thistle Threads is my gracious hostess for 12 months worth of online lessons to work the above pastoral Texas view.  There will be technique videos illustrating stitches taught in class and we are scouting out an online platform so everyone can get together in a group/class setting to discuss the lessons and anything else having to do with period Beugle Works.

This is my most in depth class yet, and I aim to provide a firm foundation of basic techniques that can be used not only for this class piece, but that can be applied to future projects as well.  My lesson on making detached yellow roses can be applied to making any flower that you can dream up in your head~ real or not! 

All class kits are in the mail, so for my students, check your email for your tracking number because they have already been sent.

 There is one spot remaining in class, so if you would be interested in taking this journey with us, please email me at

Friday, September 11, 2020

Spiffing Up

c1770 Child's Ticking Stripe Shoes
With all the children going back to school, I thought I would share these super cunning little shoes with ya'll. As a mom myself, the children were always asking to spiff up their wardrobe. I would jazz up britches with fun embroidered patches...that sort of thing. When I first saw these shoes they immediately looked like something I would do! Eighteenth century children's shoes are rare enough, but this example really spoke to me. They are hand stitched from a blue stripe ticking
 Upon looking closer...they have been overstitched/embroidered in pink. The construction of the shoes tells us this was not an afterthought. The silk binding, now quite faded, is also pink, as are the kid covered latchet buttons and heels.
I would love to know the original story behind these shoes~ you know there has got to be a great one! They are fully lined so the back of the embroidery cannot be studied, 
but beneath the shelter of the latchets, the embroidery remains bright and vivid. Was there special significance to the blue ticking stripe??? Did the owner have a fondness for all things pink? I wonder if these matched the outfit they were worn with???
In any case, they are just cute as a button.....and in typical Eighteenth century fashion, the stitching on them is beautiful and very skilled. Their wedge heels are covered in the same pink kid (goatskin) leather as the buttons
They show obvious signs of being worn. The stitching channel for the wedge heel has been worn away, exposing the stitching. Super wide throats on these with ever so slight rounded toes.
One of my favorite aspects of early shoes are the soles~ one had to have very strong hands to stitch thru the layers, but yet have a delicate touch at the same time.  I would have liked to have been a shoemaker.

This is actually the first pair of latchet shoes in the collection to have button closures. They make perfect sense though on a child's shoe~ it would be much easier to button once than fight with a buckle to get on and off. 

Monday, August 31, 2020

Sundayes Past Well Spent

It's Finally Finished!

  Super happy that I finally managed to finish painting the last two sides of my flat top casket's travel case. I have been so busy that it's got pushed aside for quite a while now, but this past weekend I finished painting the top and can officially call her done done done!

 I don't think I posted it when I finished painting the back panel. Should have done a little more with the trees, but then I really wanted to portray what my patterns looked like before I stitched them~ so one could compare the case with the casket and see how the patterns evolved as I was stitching them

 Here is the inside when the case is opened~ I wanted it to be like in the beginning of the movie The Wizard of Oz, when it goes from black and white to colour.

 Strange to think of it as finally finished.  I have so many ideas for more, I hope I live long enough to see them all come to life

 There is such a difference between the monochromatic outer shell and the surprise inside.

Here is a short video, really short cause I only have two hands....

Inside one of the secret drawers my broken soldiers lie peacefully. Job well done I tell them. The thought of throwing them away just did not sit well with me, so I gave them a true place of honor in the casket they themselves stitched...every single stitch. 
I think it's time to swear in a new group of soldiers and start afresh...time's a wastin!

Friday, August 14, 2020

All Preorders Have Been Shipped

 2020 Ltd Edition Ornament Kit is Very Limited
 The last of the preordered kits for this year's ornament are on the way today, and I have sent out all shipping notices. If you ordered a kit and don't see an email from me, please check your spam box! I want to thank everyone who has purchased a kit, I really, really do appreciate your patronage. I know it is expensive this year, and I really did try to find a suitable substitute for using real gold spangles to keep the cost down~ over half of this kit cost is just the gold spangles.  To appreciate the original 17th century embroidery one really must at least use an all metal spangle, and blast it, I just could not find any in the amount I needed. For that, I do apologize. 

 I spent literally days counting each and every spangle out for each kit~ sorting out any imperfect ones. You will definitely need them all!  
I want to give an update on my remaining kits. I have only 12 remaining, and those 12 are awaiting  the their gold spangles to get to me from France. France is of coarse on their month long annual holiday that runs the entire month of August, so I look for the spangles to arrive hopefully in September. 

Because of the absolute craziness of this year, I am right now not confident that I will be able to offer any more kits past the 12 I have ready to go when their spangles arrive, so if you have your eye on this embroidered bookcover, don't wait too long, you may miss it!

Monday, August 10, 2020

New Online Class Open for Registration!

Beneath Thy Poft Oak
  Last year I was asked to design a 17th century inspired beadwork class to teach in person in Dallas by Access Commodities.  Lamora wanted a pastoral scene that showcased the beautiful Texas Post Oak trees and yellow roses. We had great plans for a 5 day long seminar in Dallas, but due to the current world health situation, travel was no longer an option so we rolled with the punches and decided to take it online.
Tricia Nguyen of  Thistle Threads will be hosting my class at her online university platform. 

  For those of you who keep asking me about teaching here in the USA,  this is the perfect opportunity for you to do so right from your own stitching chair! This is the most comprehensive class I have ever offered, and like all my classes, all materials you need to complete Beneath Thy Poft Oak are included in the class kit. All the student need provide are a few tools and slate frame. The class will be divided  into 12 easy to complete monthly lessons. Each lesson will contain a slew of pictures, step by step photos, instructions and videos for completing this pastoral Texan scene.  This is not just a class to work the shown picture~ it is a class aimed to teaching you all you need to know about 17th c beadwork techniques and how to apply them to other projects you have milling around in your head.
As you can see above, my scenes are complete. Ladye is not just sitting under a tree with a one dimensional top of a skirt draped over her lap....she has beautiful legs, shoes, stockings and garters under her full 360 degree gown!

  Each kit comes with a one of a kind 3 piece hand sculpted papier mache figure set (bust and two arms).

  Along with flat and louped cartouche treatments, speckling, grounded and in hand peyote stitch, flat and curved couching, French wired leaves and flowers, detached hair and lace techniques, netted overlays, designing and working clothing, and bead history, I will also teach you how to make these gorgeous fully detached yellow roses. The same technique can be applied to any flower~ known to nature or contrived of your own imagination. 

The cost of  this year long course is 1,000.00USD, and includes full class kit, kit shipping, and 12 monthly downloadable lessons. I am super excited to offer my class on this new platform! Class starts October 1st~ if you would like more information on how to sign up, you can email either me at, or Lamora  at

Monday, July 20, 2020

2020 Annual Limited Edition Ornament Kit

Fanciful Story is here!

I am so excited to share this years limited edition ornament with you all. It's been a real challenge this year to get this ornament together. Due to the pandemic, I started several different ornaments on more than one occasion and had to scrap them because I was no longer able to get the materials for them. I finally decided, that since this year is the fifth year of my series, I was going to design something GOLD. My version of five golden rings I guess???
I designed this ornament as a combination of an embroidered book cover,  and further study of my favorite embroidered jacket at the V&A in London, England. I wanted to know what that jacket looked like when it was newly made. I wanted to feel how heavy it must have been.... I wanted to feel and manipulate the fabric to see how it moved encrusted with all those gold spangles!  So I designed this book cover in the same fashion, with the same embroidery and ratio of gold spangles....and have to say, it is amazing in person. 
As well...each and every one of the 1260 gold spangles used is attached with an antique opal glass bead. So finally beads are making their way into the ornaments!
Cost wise it is the most expensive of all my ornament kits, but this is absolutely due to the amount of real gold on this piece. You will use nearly 2 full spools of gilt smooth passing, and, like I said, an astronomical amount of gold spangles.  The embroidery itself when finished weighs nearly as much as the book that it is covering. 
And speaking of that book~ they are marvelous little miniature books~ Each kit will randomly have either The Night Before Christmas, or The Nutcracker.  

If you are interested in purchasing an ornament this year, you can find ordering info here

Monday, July 13, 2020

2020 Limited Edition Heirloom Christmas Ornament Kit

Coming Soon!

I have been getting more and more questions...when is this year's ornament kit coming? where is it??? Did I miss it?  
The answers....its coming, yes yes...and no, you didnt miss it, I have just had a bear of a time this year trying to design around materials I can actually get.  I think you will really like it~ the embroidery is all done now~ just have the finishin to do

Monday, June 29, 2020

2020 Early American Life Directory

13 Consecutive Years of DKFA Dollies

   I simply could not be more honored to share with ya'll that my dollies were juried into the 2020 Early American Life Directory of Traditional American Crafts again this year.  I received my August issue of Early American Life Magazine  and was elated to see my boys exploring the Number One House in Historic Zoar Village in Ohio.  Thankyou Thankyou Thankyou so very much to Early American Life Magazine and to all of the judges, for appreciating the work that I put  in to making my dolls, and Thankyou Thankyou Thankyou to each and every person who has given one a home. I appreciate it from the bottom of my soul~

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Working Along....

Boxes Boxes Everywhere..
  I have been keeping busy busy as always~ pandemic or no pandemic, there's never enough hours in the day for me.  Been steadily working to fill orders for slide top boxes I sold at the end of Feb in Williamsburg~ these take soooooooooooo long. Making them is the easy part.

  Before I can paint them, each has to be prepped first~ finish sand and then not one, or two, but three full coats of varnish. I can only do one side at a time, and they must cure between each coat, each side, so this is when this work gets painfully slow.  Not hours of varnish...not days....weeks!

  This box is a special, only available at Williamsburg, and what makes them super special and exciting is, that each person got to choose what they wanted painted on it. What was special to them in Colonial Williamsburg. Each box has 7 scenes on it, so many possibilities! I designed the box after two kerchiefs in the collections there, and all are lined with Virginia Gazettes that were printed at the Williamsburg Print Shop on the big press.  I first draw on the design with India ink using a steel nib pen, same as what was used in the 18th c.  Sometimes I use quills, but for things this detailed, I use a steel nib.  I use watercolour paint to then paint the scenes~ in this case, all are monochrome blackwork, my favorite to paint.  In the pic above, you can see the difference between the lined box above, and my finished on below. 

I love love love to paint blackwork, anyone who knows me will know! On this box this particular side is the same as mine...but I'm having loads of fun getting to paint just about every other building in Williamsburg on these boxes!

Sunday, May 10, 2020

For Mother's Day~

 18th c Christening Basket &  Quilted Silk Satin Cover 1127.2020.19
 How fitting for the last blogpost about this wonderful Christening Basket, than to have it on Mother's Day? This would certainly be a perfect Mother's Day gift!! Honestly speaking tho, I acquired this set for the basket you see above, the first picture I saw of it looked just about like this. I didn't give a thought or care to what else was in it. In past years, I have seen 3 different basket covers...billed as 'cushion covers',  sometimes without the skirting that hangs over the basket's edge....never have I found one still stitched to its original basket. It measures 17.5"x14.25" and is 5" tall.

 The cover is made from the same cream silk satin as the gown and cushion and bearing cloth, with same louped gimp fringe & fly braid trims.

This picture is a good view of how firmly the quilted silk top piece has been pulled down and stitched to the corners of the basket that is underneath. It is firmly attached and not loose in any spot at all.

 The quilting design is a pretty basket of flowers, with a scrolling border of the same. No dates or initials, but who cares, this thing is fantabulous. The other 3 covers I have studied have all been quilted to a plain linen backing , and I have no reason to doubt this one is any different. 

  Pretty little stitches, the silk satin has held up remarkably well over time with no holes or worn spots...tho I believe this entire set was placed into a trunk in the attic of the estate and just plain ol forgotten. The light has not reached its surface to degrade folks to see it and cut it off the basket to make it into a pillow cover.

  I was very careful to pull each item from the basket one at a time, and found loose pins hanging onto several items, so no surprise to find some that had sifted to the bottom of the basket. Perfect proof for the method of construction~ a nice tight fitting quilted cover that would keep all these little pins from escaping!

 I was extremely excited to see the basket underneath (many know I have somewhat of a 'thing' for early baskets)...but upon lifting the skirts, found it to be completely covered in silk.  It's a very tight covering, the silk fitting it like a lampshade~ stretched very tight.  The side strip's edge was folded over about an inch or a little more, before being whipped over the very bottom of the basket. This is what you see flipped up at the base~ the bottom friction wear has worn thru this edge, allowing a  little peek at the sides of the basket. 

  Flipping it over to admire the bottom of the basket~ it is so clean and fresh, like the day it was made. The basket itself is most likely made from willow.

 Sneaking a peek at a side thru a worn area, the side construction very simple, the same as the bottom.  No fancy or even robust weaving is needed, as the basket was made for and always meant to be covered.  If you enlarge the picture, you will notice as well, there is a layer of paper between the basket and the quilted cover. It feels as tho there may also be a slightly wadded fill, which would give more reason for the paper lining to be there~ to keep any wadding contained where its supposed to be. 

  This is a view of a corner on the bottom of the basket~ the corner skirtings have been attached to the basket with these long threads that pass not just around the slats, but pierced thru them as well.

A last little interesting that may help me to date and place where this silk was made~ there are  red silk threads woven thru the selvedge edge, as well as silver plate.

I hope you have enjoyed exploring the basket with me, I have certainly enjoyed sharing it with you~